When I first walked into Toska European Spa, up a flight of stairs in a small Dilworth shopping center, I had already heard no shortage of accolades about the luxury facialist herself, Toska Husted. With her A-list of Charlotte (and well beyond) clients, I was more than a little expectant.
The day I head over is a rare rainy, gray-ish day in Charlotte, but inside the spa is bright and light. I quickly find a hot cup of tea in my hand, and the first thing that happens next is I’m given a quick “skin analysis.” In other words, one of Toska’s facialists uses a little machine to read everything from my skin’s hydration level to the amount of oil and my skin elasticity. With that information recorded, Toska can personalize each person’s facial, which is exactly what she does next. Toska herself is an open book, eager to answer questions, and surprisingly insightful (she guesses – correctly – just ten minutes into our conversation that I’m a libra. I’m intrigued).
In a quiet room with a fire going, the process takes around an hour. During that time, my face is scrubbed clean, exfoliated, massaged, moisturized, face-masked, and even subjected to microelectric currents (think a mild electric sensation and a slight metallic taste in your mouth), meant to tone and sculpt facial muscles. When it’s all over, I walk out of the spa with what feels like a wealth of information – you’ll have to visit her yourself to hear the full depth of her expertise – and, indeed, my skin looks ten times healthier. The mastermind behind this exclusive skincare haven stepped away from her round-the-clock work for a few moments to answer a few of our biggest questions.
What inspired you to begin a career in the beauty industry?
From a very young age, I was always the girl who would fix everyone’s eyebrows and makeup… I was fascinated by how much power a little lipstick has. A woman who is happy with her looks is a confident one. I wanted to be one of them myself and wanted to help others, so when the opportunity to attend the Steiner school in London came along, I decided to pursue that dream.
Is beauty and skincare an important practice in Kosovo, where you were born, or did your passion for skin care begin when you moved to London?
The art of looking good begins at a very young age for most girls in Kosovo – they’re proud of the effort taken to maintain their good looks. I was a young teen when my mother introduced me to skin care and explained to me the importance of taking care of my “only face!” I value that lesson tremendously and continue to share it with not only my daughters, but my clients and their teens, too.
What inspired you to open Toska European Spa in the Charlotte area after having a spa in Charleston?
During the years we lived in Charleston, I visited Charlotte on many occasions. I soon fell in love with the city, its tree-lined streets, the skyline, and the energy and the diversity of its people. The success of the spa in Charleston gave me the insight to recognize a void in the market in Charlotte for a European spa that’s holistic but also results-driven. We moved to Charleston from London for my husband’s job. Soon after, I noticed there was a need for skincare that was serious, effective without requiring any downtime, and was safe for the client.
What is the biggest thing you aim to bring to the Charlotte community?
I hope that I can raise the awareness for proper skin care and have the young generation understand that prevention is key. Rather than seeking instant gratification from invasive procedures, skincare must be seen as part of a healthy lifestyle that combines nourishment, adequate rest, and an active body and mind.
Do you combine American and European skin care practices at your spa, or do you strictly employ European practices?
Having trained in Europe, I think it’s safe to say that we are a true European spa. Most of our equipment, products, and techniques come from France. We use products that are highly-concentrated, have active ingredients, and are of botanical or marine biological origin. We start each treatment by diagnosing the clients skin using our Skin Instant Lab which helps us understand better the condition the skin is in. We also incorporate microcurrent to stimulate the muscles, galvanic current to aid product penetration, LED light treatment for collagen boosting and healing acne, MPL for collagen induction and so on, all in the effort to provide the clients with the best results possible.
You exclusively use a single product line – tell us about that.
I discovered Biologique Recherche through my research while looking for a line that was unique and luxurious, but most importantly results-driven. By working with such amazing products, I am able to offer the clients a tailored regimen specific to their needs. With BR being considered the “Hermes of skincare” I am beyond honored to be the 2018 brand ambassador, which not only is a high achievement for me personally but it puts our lovely Charlotte on the map, too.
Any basic tips or tricks for us regarding skincare? What are your basic recommendations for clients?
The best thing one can do for their skin is to cleanse it properly, use effective-yet-clean products, avoid the sun, and be consistent with your at-home regimen.